Ruslaan Mumtaz Interview
He was trained under Shaimak for six months and also acted in theatre. Now, he is all set to make his debut in Robby Grewal’s… film Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar (MP3). He is Ruslaan Mumtaz, son of veteran character artist Anjana Mumtaz.
Director of the movie Robby informed that there was hunt going on for the male lead. How did you manage to get the film?
There were auditions going on all over India for the character of Rohan. A lot of people had auditioned. Even I had got calls from a lot of coordinators. They kept calling me, but I didn’t want to go a regular auditioning for a movie. But my mom said that since they are calling everybody in the city you should go and see where you stand as an actor. I was planning to train myself at Shaimak’s and then my mom would introduce me to directors as she is from the film line. But wasn’t ashamed of using my mom’s name but she wanted to know where I stand as an individual. Then I went and auditioned for the film and got the role.
Have you done any training in acting before this?
I did theatre for three years before doing this film. So, I was doing acting constantly. I also did modeling. I have done lots of advertisements. When this film happened I was dancing for Shaimak Davar’s troupe and I had just completed six months then I have to leave Shaimak for this film.
Did you always want to be an actor?
When I was in my S.Y.B.com I had decided to become an actor.
How influential was your mother in getting you into this profession?
To be honest my mom always worked as a deterrent as she never wanted me to be a part of this industry. As she thought that there a lot of factors involved like everyone will be talented and good looking but still there is luck factor involved and you are not sure if you will make it. Your life will change every Friday, one Friday they will put you at a height and the next they will pull you down which she didn’t want me to go through. She is a woman and had her husband to support her financially but for a man it is a very difficult situation to be in as he is the supporter of the house and if he goes wrong then everything goes down with it. A man should have a steady job and a steady income. But at that point of time when she was doing films, it wasn’t considered steady but now so many avenues like television have opened up. What’s the worst, I could be doing serials and that will give me money.
Robby Grewal’s first film Samay did not really strike a chord with the audience. How was he as a director?
What happened with Samay was that it released much before its time. I don’t know why but I saw Samay on the first day. I didn’t even imagine I would be working with Robby Grewal four years later. So somewhere we connected with each other. The kind of films he makes are for the audiences of my age group. Robby is a modern director, when you read the script I decided I wanted to do this film. You can’t decide the Box office success of a film but you can decide whether you want to be a part of the film. It’s a different film; I will call it as a Dil Chahta hai. If it works everyone will do well and if it doesn’t it will definitely remembered somewhere.
MP3 sounds a youthful title. Is your character equally young?
I am playing a seventeen year old guy who is from a rich family. His parents love him and friends love him. At that a girl who comes into his life falls in love with him but he takes her love for granted. One can’t take love for granted. And the film is about this realization.
Ruslaan talks about his co-star Hazel
Your female co-star Hazel also makes her debut in this film
Hazel is someone with whom I have done ad films before. When I got cast for the part of Rohan they were looking for a girl to cast opposite me. When I have done ads with Hazel before, people on the sets said that we look very good together. So I called Hazel and told her to come for this audition may be you would like to do the part. She auditioned and they liked her. She read the script and she liked it. And that’s how we did the film. So, we both were already friends, we just helped each other and went along with the film.
Any fun moments on the sets?
I am considered a very accident prone actor. On the second day of the film I had a very simple shot where I had to jump off the ramp from a cycle which was a very simple shot. But unfortunately the cycle’s tyre just snapped out. I don’t know how that happened but I just fell straight on my face and we packed up for two months. So, I delayed the shooting for two months.
Then when we got ready for our next schedule one week before the shoot I fell off a bike and again I hurt my face and again I delayed the film by another one month. So because of me the film has been delayed by three months. But luckily they didn’t decide to change the actor.
When it happened for the first time they knew it was an accident and wasn’t my fault as it happened in the front of the entire unit and everyone was scared. The doctor said it will take at least a month for the scars to go away. When the accident happened the second time, I called my director and said that Robby you have to come home because I had an accident. He came home and saw my face and said that I can’t shoot with you like this. He couldn’t do anything as it was too late. So I have a bad reputation.
For my second film which I am doing with Satish Kaushik I just happened to tell him that I am very accident prone. He was like ‘don’t talk about it because I can’t afford to have my film delayed’. And the next day I had a motorbike shot, it was a very simple shot and I had to take a turn. I was a little faster than usual and the bike just skid and I fell but we didn’t pack up as I didn’t hurt my face this time. I hurt my full body though. I completed the whole film on painkillers.
Have you signed any other movie?
I just completed a film called Tere Sang which will release in October. It is directed by Satish Kaushik and stars Rajat Kapoor, Neena Gupta and Satish Kaushik himself.
Do you want to continue being a Bollywood actor? Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I don’t know. Things keep changing. I thought I would wait and once MP3 releases I would do more multiplex kind of movies. But then Satish Kaushik approached me and he is more of a commercial filmmaker. I didn’t plan, it just happened to me. He offered a good role and it’s a big film so I had to take it. It’s very difficult to plan. Whatever comes I take because I am not in a position to decide. Whatever comes my way if it is interesting and helps me go forward in life I take it. I have no clue where I will be next year at this moment.